Don’t Be A Flip-Flop

It seems everywhere I go the only kind of people that I encounter and even can find to hang with are individuals who are striving to seek the path that is going to be most acceptable for those around them. These people are not willing to live a free life—one where they really do not care about what people say about them. Instead, they live a life of constant contradictions. One day they are this way and the next day they are this way. I am completely exhausted with people who live their lives saturated with contradictions. This article is aimed at exposing people who live their lives saturated with contradictions and to call people to stop living lives full of contradictions.

I define a “flip-flop” as a person who changes with the wind and goes in whatever direction the wind blows. A “flip-flop” is a person who does not have a mind of his or her own—this person is a fusion of multiple people, people who also do not have minds of their own. He or she says whatever is popular but does not really believe what is said. A flip-flop acts and speaks one way with you, changes up around another person, then changes again around another person, changes again around another person, and constantly changes each time he or she interacts with another person. I am so amazed at how many of these flip-floppers are able to even keep up with all of their identities and personas. It seems like being a flip-flop is a miserable life—constantly having to be on stage and perform for the various audiences one encounters throughout each day. All the covering up, posturing, posing, and masquerading seems like it makes these flip-floppers less and less relevant each day—almost to the point they are more valuable dead than taking up space on the earth.

I do not desire for people to be exactly like me—trust me, it’s impossible! What I do desire for people is for them to be authentic, love themselves, make a contribution to the world and earth that only they can make, and to refuse to be a cheap copy of anyone else. I want what is best for you and I know that what is best for you is to be yourself. Whatever would cause you to live a life of constant contradictions is not worth wasting your life over. You waste your life when you make a serious commitment to intentionally living a life of contradictions.

What becomes so problematic with flip-floppers is they jeopardize their relationships with the people who really love and care about them—those who choose not to flip-flop. Because flip-floppers often intentionally elect to do things to hurt their non-flip-flopping friends just to live their unauthentic lives, they threaten the continuation of meaningful, lasting, and true friendships. It is my hope that flip-floppers will understand that the other flip-floppers that they consider to be their friends are not really their friends. If you are living a flip-flopping life just to please other people, then you have willingly allowed yourself to be enslaved.

Flip-flopping makes people question your trustworthiness. When people lack faith in your ability to stay true to yourself, then they turn away from you and you will inevitability be on an island by yourself, even though you may be surrounded by numerous people. Those people who will remain around you are your fellow flip-floppers.

If you contend that you are not a flip-flopper, then why do you hide what you do? Why do you lie? Why do you say that you don’t care about what people say, but then get all mad when people make comments about you? Why do you have to go to such extremes to present an unauthentic identity? Why are you not grounded in truth? Why are you consumed with contradictions? Why do you live one way in the day and another way at night? Why do you profess to be a Christian, especially on Sundays, but do things on all other days that will cause you to bust Hell wide open? Why does life’s light winds blow you in so many directions? Why does the mirror reflect so many identities and personas? Why are you uncomfortable with yourself? Why are you always trying out new identities? Why are you always on stage?

Revolutionary Paideia is committed to the “Be Yourself Movement” it launched last month. This Movement is committed to helping people to appreciate their true selves and to living lives of authenticity—not lives of lies and contradictions. Don’t allow your life to become defined by lies and contradictions! Live a life of true meaning, true direction, and true originality. Live free or die!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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6 comments

  1. First, let me state that your definition of a “flip flop” is ingenious! This article/post as well as blog needs to be highlighted by fellow bloggers and I will soon do so on Pampered Sweet Tooth. At the core of individuals allowing for the fabrication of their own life to be lived by others is a deep…DEEP self-efficacy. Authentic or as I often term it, organic is rarely brought to fruition by people. In defense of their daily action, some may confuse being a “flip flop” with being a “chameleon” of sorts. How appropriate is this post during your “Be Yourself Movement”? Whenever I deal with someone that ALWAYS has to oppose what I say or one up me on a topic being discussed, I smirk; inside and out. Again, I realize that as you stated “If you are living a flip-flopping life just to please other people, then you have willingly allowed yourself to be enslaved.” Your posts are consistently engaging and I want to thank you for entering the blogosphere. Revolutionary Paideia is needed here.

    1. Wow! Thanks so much, Pampered Sweet Tooth! I very much enjoy your blog as well. Yes, there is a clear line between being a “chameleon” and being a “flip-flop.” Being a chameleon has historically been a strategy employed as a tool of success and during slavery and Jim and Jane Crow days it was used as a strategy of survival. When people have to “one up” you, they suffer from deep problems with their self-efficacy and self-esteem. People really need to understand that they are enslaving themselves when they refuse to be themselves. I want to thank you for your too kind words and great response.

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